Sharing Ideas: Making My First Technique Video

I am hesitant to make a video showing any kind of jiu jitsu technique for several reasons, mainly because I feel teaching of any kind is for experts and I see myself as 100% a student and definitely very far from being an expert. I’m always learning, trying to figure out little details, trying stuff to see if what “works” on paper actually works in practice. But to be honest, I feel that way about stuff I’ve been doing for 20 years (e.g. programming). So perhaps that’s just a personality trait. I don’t feel comfortable saying I “know” something. This is probably because I work in a field where “knowing” often lasts a very short time until a new discovery turns what I “knew” on its head.

Learning from my mistakes and the mistakes of others

I train a lot with a lot of top-notch black belts, and compete a lot and hold my own against the best purple belts in the world. Through all those tournaments, I’ve made a ton of mistakes, and the reason I keep this blog is to write about those mistakes to hopefully help others in the community to not make those same mistakes, and also to encourage them to write about their own so that I can learn from them.

It’s about sharing ideas

And that’s the point I’m getting to. I believe making a video of a technique is not about saying that you “know” something. It’s about sharing an idea with the community. It’s never new of course. Nothing is new. But it adds to the stream of ideas that everyone is playing with and in so doing helps evolve jiu jitsu one tiny step at a time. There is no doubt that YouTube has revolutionized jiu jitsu. If someone does a unique guard pass, tens of thousands of people across the world will know about it the next day and practice it over the next month, and many will make it their favorite technique, add details, adjust it to their body, etc.

My first technique video attempt

I saw a video contest that Cynergi (gi company) put together, and used that opportunity to demonstrate one of the weirdest techniques in my “game”: a calf slicer (aka calf crusher) from top, which is actually only legal for brown and black belts. Check it out and please click “like” on it on YouTube since the video with the most likes wins some gi stuff:

It looks like YouTube took down the video. I’m trying to figure out why. In the mean time, here’s a video of the Keenan pass instead, that the technique is based on:

I have been doing the “Keenan pass” that I saw Keenan Cornelius pull off against Paulo Miyao in the 2013 European Championships, and this calf crush is off of that. Before training, I asked someone to video me real quick, single take. I didn’t think about what I was going to say, and just did it. For an overly-analytic introvert like myself, that’s a good way to approach anything new: Do it first without thinking and then learn from your mistakes. What I learned is that even a 1 minute video should be planned out at least partially. Teaching is not easy. You have to explain the crucial details, and breeze past the non-crucial ones. I also learned that I should demonstrate with more precision. My hand placement was loose, my triangle was loose, and my movement wasn’t exact. The point of showing a technique is to show it perfect as you believe it should be done. Otherwise, what’s the point of doing a video? I kind of assumed people can read my mind, and unfortunately they can’t.

Anyway, I’ll try to start making such technique videos slowly in the coming months/years to share ideas, and I encourage everyone to do the same!

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